BASIS OF THE MEELAD SHAREEF
He has said that he found a strong basis for the Meelad Shareef in “Sahih al-Bukhari” and “Sahih Muslim”. It is that when the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) migrated to Madinah, he saw the Jews fasting on Ashura (i.e. the 10th of Muharram). He enquired from them as to reason for this. They told him that Ashura is that day on which Allah Ta’ala has caused Pharaoh to drown, and granted Musa (alaihis-salaam) deliverance from him, and that they (the Jews) therefore fast (on that day) out of gratitude to Allah Ta’ala.
From this the proof is obtained of showing gratitude to Allah, and in that connection to do any virtuous act and to observe it annually as a means of recollection for any special day on which Allah Ta’ala has bestowed any favour or removed any calamity.Gratitude to Allah Ta’ala is expressed through different kinds of Ibadah – prostration and standing in prayer, charity and the recitation of the Holy Quran. And what greater favour of Allah Ta’ala can there be than the appearance of the Prophet of Mercy (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) on this day (i.e. 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal)? Therefore, this day should be specially observed so that consistency with the event concerning Hazrat Musa (alaihis-salaam) on the day of Ashura, be attained.
Some people do not limit it and celebrate the Meelad Shareef on any day of Rabi-ul-Awwal. Nay, some have extended it even more and increased the period to the whole year. According to the latter, the Meelad Shareef can be celebrated on any day of the year. The objective here is the same (i.e. to rejoice at and celebrate the Holy birth of the Noble Prophet – sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
This discussion has been in connection with the basis of the Meelad Shareef.
ITS BETTER TO REFRAIN FROM WHAT IS NOT MOST PREFERABLE
As far as those actions are concerned which are done in the Meelad Shareef it needs that one content oneself with only such actions through which gratitude through Allah Ta’ala is demonstrated in a proper manner. For example, the above-mentioned matters – recitation of the Holy Quran, invitation to partake of food, acts of charity, reciting verses in praise of the Leader of the two worlds (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and such verses through which hearts are moved towards acts of Ibadah and piety and through which there is motivation for bringing about acts of virtue and for working for the Hereafter.
Concerning those things belonging to the category of Sama and amusement and song … and which happen to be within the sphere of permissibility and through which joy is expressed on that day – if such things are done there is no evil therein. And those things belonging to the categories of Haraam and Makruh they should be guarded against. Similarly, those things which are inconsistent with what is Awla (most preferable) and which are not appropriatesuch things should be abandoned.
ANOTHER BASIS FOR THE MEELAD SHAREEF
I submit that I have also found another basis for the Meelad Shareef in the Hadith Shareef (literature). It is that al-Baihaqi transmits from Hazrat Anas (radi Allahu anhuma) that the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) performed his own Aqiqa in the period after the proclamation of Prophethood. This was in spite of the fact the his grandfather, Hazrat Abdul Muttalib (radi Allahu anhu), had already performed the Aqiqa on the seventh day after the birth, and Aqiqa is done only once and is not done a second time.
From this it is understood that the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) did this to show his gratitude to Allah Ta’ala for causing him to be born, having made him “the mercy unto all the worlds”. The objective was also to create a precedent in the Shari’ah for the Ummah – just as the Noble Prophet himself (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) used to recite Darud Shareef on his own self in order to create a principal in the Shari’ah for that act of showing honour and esteem to him. Therefore, it is commendable (Mustahab) that we arrange for the Meelad Shareef to show our gratitude (to Allah Ta’ala) for the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), in which the invitation to food and drink is there and other similar acts of virtue are done and which occasion is celebrated with happiness.
IBN AL-JAZARI’S FAITH–ENKINDLING PROOF
I came across the book of the Imam of Qurra Shams al-Din Ibn al-Jazari (radi Allahu anhu) entitled “Urf al-Ta’arif bil Mawlid al-Sharif” in which he writes that after the death of Abu Lahab someone saw him in a dream and enquired from him as to his condition. He said that punishment is being meted out. However, on the night of Monday, there is some relaxation in his punishment and he manages to suck some water from his finger (so saying, he indicated the finger) because it was through a gesture of that finger that he set his female slave Thuwaibah free when she conveyed to him the good news of the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and that she had the privilege of suckling him. Consider! If this Abu Lahab, a Kafir whose censure has come in the Holy Quran also – if he has been rewarded for his expression of the joy at the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), what will be the condition of that Muslim, the sincere upholder of Tawhid from his Ummah who express joy at the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and spends whatsoever is possible for him, out of love for the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)? By my life! His reward will be that Allah the most Noble, out of his comprehensive Grace will place him in the gardens of Bliss.